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Hey, Wilson, welcome to the club and to hunting. I'm one of the old-timers here - that means I have more hunting years behind me than ahead of me, but every hunt is a treasure.
Here's my take on your question about an AR-style rifle for hunting. Although I don't personally like their looks, if you can get one that is accurate enough for the ranges that you will be shooting and powerful enough (and legal) for the size of the game, then I guess they're OK, especially if you feel comfortable shooting them. Rifle feel and fit is important. Let's also remember the basic design of what we now call traditional hunting rifles (and calibers) were first military rifles before they were used for hunting.
On the other hand, there is something called public image that we hunters always need to keep in mind. TV programs and movies almost never show gangs, terrorists or any bad guys using bolt-action or any sporting rifles. Usually, they have the modern military or tactical stuff, and these two distinct styles are preceived very differently. And so, the modern military-style rifles turn off lots of non-hunters and hunters - they even scare some non-hunters and hunters. Hunters scaring people is not a good thing. Especially if kookie organizations, like PETA, will point at them and say, "See, hunters and terrorists - same thing!"
A couple of years ago a very popular hunting writer, by the name of Jim Zumbo, criticized hunters who used AR-style rifles by saying he thought they looked like terrorists. As a result, he lost his job and was ostracized by hunters in general. I think he was right, but, again, that's just my opinion.
If you would consider a "compromise", you might look at the synthetic stainless rifles that have a little more traditional look, but also have some of the characteristics of the ARs (light weight, short-barrels, semi-auto, etc.). There are penty of guys in this club to give you suggestions about specific rifle/caliber combinations.
As hunters, we need to encourage young folks, like you, to join us in our sport. There just isn't anything else like it, but, unfortunately, it's becoming more and more misunderstood. Perhaps twenty years from now most hunters will be using AR style rifles, but just as likely maybe twenty years from now hunting will be a thing of the past. Let's not just hope that doesn't happen - let's do whatever we can to prevent it from happening.
Best of luck in your future of hunting,
Onehorse
 

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Good job Onehorse. I didn't know that about JIm Zumbo. Sad...
 

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Very well said onehorse, and I didn't know about Jim Zumbo either, I just read all about what happened to him and
it's refreshing to hear that Ted Nugent was the man that rescued and helped resurrect Jim...
I'll be watching Jim Zumbo on the Outdoor channel this morning, he has a Yukon Moose hunt on today at 10:00 am (eastern/standard) :biggrin:
 

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Once again the very wise Onehorse has spoken. He is 100% correct. It is a very touchy subject as Mr Zumbo has found out. Still the fact remains about public perception of these types of arms and I for one do not like the idea of adding fuel to the fire. I believe in our 2nd amendment 100% and feel very passionate about our right to hunt. Please research all of these points before making a decision on your firearm of choice. Keep in mind you are not just representing yourself but all hunters at large. Another big point is in most cases we do not own our hunting lands but gaining permission from other land owners. How will they perceive you?:confused:
 

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onehorse, you do have a way with words, and I am sure you have many seasons yet to see ahead of you. I wasn't aware of the Jim Zumbo situation, but I also agree that Jim was correct, and I am alarmed that hunters in general did not agree with him. I also am a full blowned supporter in the second ammendant rights. I have no problem owning military style firearms and the enjoyment of them. It is comforting to see we all seem to see this the same way, as ronn noted.
 

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I think whay you and Zumbo say is backing down and being chicken poop.
I have never seen an anti-hunter while hunting, but then I don't hunt in a city. And if I did, would he know what I was shooting. Why not make mountains of of molehills and while we are at it, be gun snobs. It's getting to be like the Harley riders and the Jap bike riders making fun of each other and both losing rights.
 
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